Find Your Linux Release Info

What’s the likelihood of you not knowing which version of Linux distro you are running? It’s probably a lot higher than you expect. I’ve had to do this at least twice before. If you’re not sure or you simply want to validate your distro, you can run the following commands to get the distro info.

Ubuntu

cat /etc/lsb-release

Fedora

cat /etc/fedora-release

Debian

cat /etc/*release

OpenSuse

cat /etc/SuSE-release

In Ubuntu, running the command above returns the following info.

DISTRIB_ID=Ubuntu
DISTRIB_RELEASE=10.04
DISTRIB_CODENAME=lucid
DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Ubuntu 10.04.3 LTS"

CentOS 5.6 Downloaded

I saw a couple of great articles lauding about the latest CentOS 5.6 distribution. It mentions that CentOS is a good alternative to Red Hat for smaller companies who may not need the support. It’s also free.

CentOS is of course based on Red Hat and is a favorite OS of many hosting companies. Hostgator runs on CentOS. So, this blog is actually powered by CentOS. Who would have thunk it?

So, I decided to download the latest CentOS 5.6 distro overnight. I’m now in the process of installing CentOS in VirtualBox on my desktop. I will write a follow up article reviewing CentOS 5.6.

WinFF A Free Video Converter

I spoke highly about FFMPEG in 3 separate occasions. Last night, I downloaded a program called WinFF, a Windows GUI for the command line video converter FFMPEG. The program will convert most any video file that FFmpeg will convert.

WinFF does multiple files in multiple formats at one time. You can for example convert mpeg’s, flv’s, and mov’s, all into avi’s all at once. WinFF is available for Windows 95, 98 , ME, NT, XP, VISTA, and Debian, Ubuntu, Redhat based GNU/Linux distributions.

This reason I was looking for a Windows GUI version of FFMPEG because I wanted to use Windows Movie Maker. I had a video in MPG4 format that was not supported by Windows Movie Maker. I figured I need to convert from MPG4 to WMV format.

So, I ended up downloading WinFF. The program is simple and intuitive. I was able to convert from MPG4 to WMV in no time. WinFF is an awesome program that anyone should have in their arsenal.

WinFF is published under the GNU public license. Download.

Elliot Associates Offering To Buy Novell

Red Hat and Novell are two pioneer companies who have made money from open-source. Novell with its Suse Linux distribution has received an offer from Elliot Associates to buy its stock for $5.75 per stock, a total of $1 billion dollars. Novell shares closed today at $4.75. After hours trading are above $6.

Meanwhile, Redhat’s market capitalization is at $5 billion. This is more than enough proof that companies can make money from free, open-source products.

Build RPM Packages

Here’s a nice article to get you started if you are interested in learning how to build a RPM package. If you are running a RPM-based distribution such as Redhat, Fedora, Mandriva, Caldera, Turbo Linux, and many others, this article is for you. The instructions will walk you through a step-by-step process on how to build a RPM package. Read more.